Traders Building (Yusingco Building/Juan Luna Residencia) and Zamora House
HERITAGE AT RISK: Ongoing Demolition
Renacimiento Manila, together with its allied heritage organizations, is raising the alarm on the ongoing demolition of two heritage structures, one in Binondo and another in Quiapo. In both cases, the structures being demolished are already a hundred years old.
The demolition of the Traders Building was first noticed by advocates during one of Renacimiento Manila’s heritage walks. The Zamora House demolition on the other hand was noticed by members of Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista atbp. Lugar, Inc. while preparing for the Quiapo Heritage Walk.
This has proven the effectiveness of conducting regular heritage walks. For aside from bringing tourism into Manila’s important and endangered cultural areas, the Heritage Walks have another purpose: policing Manila’s treasures and ensuring that these heritage structures do not vanish into the dust as they are demolished by developers.
Both structures are considered Important Cultural Properties and form an important part of letting future generations see the architectural legacy and development of Manila.
The Traders Building is an Art Nouveau structure (one of a few structures of this style still standing in Manila) built sometime in the 1920s.
The Zamora House (including a portion once owned by Lucas Paterno) was built in the late 1800s. A famous resident of this house is the chemist and pharmacist Manuel A. Zamora, who created the formula against beriberi known today as tiki-tiki. The possible demolition of this house has been raised since 2021.
We call on city officials, as well as pertinent cultural agencies to look into the matter and step in to exercise their mandate. As we post this to raise wider awareness, our allied organization with our support is already doing institutional steps to ensure these buildings are not destroyed without a fight.
It is time for Manila to walk the talk, especially since it is always said that the city “values and promotes its heritage structures”. Pretty soon none will be left, only faceless properties and empty bureaucratical words.
You may want to read: